Diagnostic Reading #42: Five Must-Read Articles From the Past Week

Carestream LogoAnother week means another edition of Diagnostic Reading, This week’s topics focus on mammography screening volume, cyber attacks on healthcare organizations, CT use in children’s hospitals, accountable care organizations (ACOs), and patient-radiologist communication.

Higher Screening Mammo Volume Equals Better Outcomes – AuntMinnie

According to a study published in the Journal of Medical Screening, women who undergo mammography screening at breast centers with high volumes tend to have better outcomes, which is encouraging news for a modality often criticized for its tendency to overdiagnose.

4 in 5 Health Orgs Hit by Cyber Crooks – Healthcare IT News

According to KPMG’s 2015 Healthcare Cybersecurity Survey, more than 80 percent of healthcare chief information officers, chief technology officers and other security leaders say their organizations have been victimized by at least one cyber attack in the past two years. Barely more than half – 53 percent of providers, 66 percent of payers – say they feel adequately prepared for a cyber attack.

Children’s Hospitals Utilizing Less CT in Favor of Other Modalities – Health Imaging

According to a new study published in Pediatrics, CT utilization in children’s hospitals is declining, possibly due to potential side effects related to pediatric exposure to ionizing radiation. According to the authors, more and more research has revealed the possibility that exposing children to ionizing radiation may increase their risk of cancer, leading to efforts to minimize such exposure.

Premier’s Damore: With the Right Help, ACOs Are Moving in the Right Direction – Healthcare Informatics

Shortly after the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the latest results coming out of the two main accountable care organization (ACO) programs operating under the aegis of the Medicare program, the Medicare Shared Savings Program for accountable care (MSSP) and the Pioneer ACO Program, leaders at the Charlotte-based Premier, inc. were able to trumpet positive results coming out of Premier’s population health initiative.

Patients Don’t Want to Talk to Radiologists – Diagnostic Imaging

According to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, answering some fundamental questions might be wise before the field of radiology “embarks on such a sea change” of more direct communication with patients Based on a total of 617 survey responses from patients, they found that the majority—63%—preferred receiving their imaging results from a referring provider, not a radiologist.

Four Reasons Multimedia is the Future of Radiology Reporting

Vue Reporting - Multimedia-enhanced Radiology ReportingWe have been touting the power of multimedia-enhanced radiology reporting for some time. We have shown the history of reporting in our industry, as well as showcased the important business cases multimedia reporting provides to departments via referrals from physicians.

In brief—multimedia-enhanced radiology reporting is the future. Still don’t believe us? Consider these four key points that highlight the benefits of these new-age reports:

1) Improved context related to patient history. This new format for radiology reports provides physicians and radiologists with more history related to the patient. With this history, radiologists gain a greater understanding of the patient’s health, as well as insight into patterns that may help with diagnosis.

2) The display of data is cleaner and easier to access. Images, lesion measurements, graphs, charts—they all exist to provide easier access to necessary information. Hyperlinks also exist within multimedia reports, so physicians can access an image splice via a hyperlinked description within the text of the report. In a recent study conducted by the National Institute of Health (NIH), oncologists and radiologists agreed that quantitative interactive reporting would be superior to traditional text-only qualitative reporting for assessing tumor burden in cancer trials at its institution. Based on this study, NIH said that it aims to improve its reporting in concert with its new PACS capabilities that include semiautomated lesion segmentation, interactive reporting, and metadata management of lesions.

3) Promotes better communication between patients and physicians. With a format that is easier to read and understand, physicians have a resource that is much easier to explain to patients. By showing them their medical images, as well as associated measurements, physicians have better visuals and information to use to talk with their patients about their diagnoses.

4) The possibility of more referrals from physicians. A study conducted by Emory University School of Medicine found that 80% of physicians would preferentially refer patients to a facility with multimedia reporting. The study also found that 79% of physicians are more likely to recommend that their peers refer patients to a facility with multimedia reporting. This shows that not only is multimedia reporting better for the patient, but also for the radiologist’s department or clinic, as they are more likely to receive more patient referrals when using multimedia reporting.

Multimedia radiology reporting is the next logical stage in the evolution of the radiology report. As communication between physicians and patients becomes more commonplace and expected, doctors will need the appropriate tools to explain diagnoses to patients in a way that is easy to comprehend. The capabilities offered via multimedia enhanced radiology reporting can effectively serve as these tools and provide physicians with the valuable information they need.

Cristine Kao, Healthcare IT, CarestreamCristine Kao is the global marketing director for Carestream’s Healthcare Information Solutions (HCIS) business.

Editors update: A study by the National Institutes of Health published in 2017 demonstrated that multimedia radiology reports enhance tumor tracking.




Diagnostic Reading #41: Five Must-Read Articles From the Past Week

Carestream LogoAnother week has passed us by, which means it is time for another edition of Diagnostic Reading. This week’s articles focus on MedPAC data on imaging growth, radiology reports, radiology value, community hospitals replacing EHRs, and mHealth tools.

Radiology Takes Aim at MedPAC data on Imaging Growth – AuntMinnie.com

Advocates for radiology are criticizing new data from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) that show growth in medical imaging from 2000 to 2012. In fact, the data indicate that imaging utilization has been declining since 2009. Imaging advocates say MedPAC’s annual data book released in July paints an inaccurate picture of the specialty and its contribution to healthcare costs, which distracts from the real questions about healthcare waste.

Rad Reports Should Not Include ‘Cannot Exclude’ – Radiology Business

According to a recent commentary in the  Journal of the American College of Radiology, radiologists need to stop writing “cannot exclude” in their reports as the phrase is overused and adds no additional value to patient care. “Radiologists should list only pertinent differential diagnostic considerations and advise on the need for further imaging needed to confirm a diagnosis,” wrote Jenny K. Hoang, MBBS, of the department of radiology at Duke University Medical Center. “Radiologists’ skills are most valuable when they are used to make diagnoses, not exclude them.”

How to Offer Value When Nobody Seems to Want It – Radiology Business

David M. Naeger, MD, writes, “For years, radiologists on the vanguard have been telling us that we should consider relaying radiology results directly to patients.  We already do this in women’s imaging in the form of mammography patient letters, but there is much more room to continue this practice.

“The reasons to consider communicating directly with patients are many: We are the imaging experts, and, in many ways, no one is better suited to explain the findings and interpretation of an imaging examination. By directly engaging patients, we also have the potential to increase their participation in their care and help our referring colleagues in the challenging and time-intensive process of relaying test results.”

Community Hospitals Replacing EHRs – Healthcare IT News

As they grapple with meaningful use and grumble about usability, nearly 20 percent of community hospitals polled for a recent report are “actively looking to replace” their electronic health record vendors. Smaller hospitals are being tasked with more physician documentation for MU, and the extra time required, disrupted workflows and and frustrating EHR functionality means many providers’ patience is wearing thin, according to Community Hospital EHR 2015, by research group peer60, which polled 277 providers.

Research: mHealth Tools Have Not Been Fully Studied – Healthcare Informatics

While smartphone apps and wearable sensors have the potential to help people make healthier lifestyle choices, evidence of these mHealth tools being effective for or reducing risk factors for heart disease and stroke is limited, according to new research. These findings are according to a scientific statement from the American Heart Association, published in the association’s journal Circulation. The new statement reviewed the small body of published, peer-reviewed studies about the effectiveness of mobile health technologies for managing weight, increasing physical activity, quitting smoking and controlling high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

Video: Advancements in Cardiology PACS

CARESTREAM Vue Cardio is a web-based PACS that consolidates review of echocardiography, cardiac cath, ECG, nuclear cardiology and hemodynamic results with easy comparison of priors for better patient care.

In the demo video below, you will see how this cardiology PACS acts as a single solution that streamlines enterprise access and reporting of cardiovascular data for faster diagnosis, reporting, storage, and distribution of clinical data.

Diagnostic Reading #40: Five Must-Read Articles From the Past Week

Carestream LogoDiagnostic Reading issue #40! How time flies. This week’s articles focus on mammography exams, big data, doctors’ opinions on EHRs, the exchange of data within hospitals, and a study about contrast-related adverse events.

1) Patient Features Have Most Impact on Mammo Reads – AuntMinnie.com

According to a new study published in the American Journal of Roentgenology, patient features such as breast density, prior mammography, and the presence of symptoms such as a lump have more effect on the interpretive accuracy of diagnostic mammograms than radiologist characteristics. Certain radiologist characteristics do help, including affiliation with an academic institution, years of interpretation experience, and exam reading volume, researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle found.

2) Where Big Data Falls Short – Healthcare IT News

A new report from the National Quality Forum outlined the challenges to making health data and analytics more usable and available in real time for providers and consumers. Whereas big data has supported improvement in certain settings, such as reducing ventilator-acquired pneumonia, data analytics has been largely overlooked in the area of healthcare costs, even though this data can inform and assess efforts to improve the affordability and quality of care.

3) Doctors Like EHRs Even Less Than They Did Five Years Ago – Healthcare IT News

According to the results of a study published by the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians’ AmericanEHR division, physicians have grown increasingly dissatisfied with their EHR software during the last five years. The survey found that about half of all respondents reported a negative impact in response to questions about how their EHR system improved costs, efficiency or productivity.

4) ONC, AHA Present Findings on Hospital Data Exchange – Healthcare Informatics

Nearly all hospitals have the infrastructure to exchange data, yet just 25 percent of hospitals nationwide are finding, sending, receiving and using data electronically, according to a report from the American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC). Specifically, most hospitals have certified electronic health record (EHR) technology and are exchanging key clinical information:  75.5 percent of hospitals said they had a basic electronic health record system, up from 59.4 percent in 2013; and nearly 97 percent of hospitals with basic EHR systems said they had certified EHR technology, up from 94 percent in 2013.

5) Study of Contrast-Related Adverse Events Leaves Some Questions Lingering – Radiology Business Journal

Research in  Annals of Emergency Medicine showed that patients who develop an acute kidney injury after contrast-enhanced CT are at an increased risk of major adverse effects within a year. The findings could be substantial, but Richelle J. Cooper, MD, of the UCLA Emergency Medicine Center argues that there are still too many questions to be sure.

White Paper: Ultrasound in the 21st Century

Carestream’s newest modality has recently received FDA 510(k) clearance and is now available for orders in the U.S. We unveiled this new product at RSNA 2014, and also provided demos at the 2015 American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) meeting.

Medical imaging thought-leader Greg Freiherr has written a white paper to provide more details about the CARESTREAM Touch Ultrasound Systems, as well as look at the needs of sonographers in the 21st century.

Within the paper, readers will learn about:

  1. The value of diagnostic ultrasound
    1. Beyond grayscale images
    2. Increasing popularity
    3. Overcoming limitations
    4. Carestream’s Touch Family
  2. The evolution of ultrasound
  3. Breaking with the past to meet challenges in the future
    1. Migrating innovations to ultrasound
    2. Streamlining the exam process
    3. Voice of the customer
    4. Operational advantages
    5. Financial advantages
    6. In a nutshell

You can read the entire white paper, “Ultrasound in the 21st Century: Why Carestream Health’s Touch Ultrasounds Make Sense,” by clicking the image below.

Carestream Touch Ultrasound White Paper

For more information about Carestream’s Touch systems, you can read the white paper, “Improving the Ergonomic Workstation: An Innovative Ultrasound System.”

Diagnostic Reading #39: Five Must-Read Articles From the Past Week

Carestream LogoA new week and a new issue of Diagnostic Reading. Today’s articles look at ICD-10 and radiology practices, the flood of image data, quality metrics and their affect on patient care, a survey about providers’ web efforts, and a new bill in U.S. Congress about recommendations from the USPSTF.

1) Is Your Radiology Practice Ready for ICD-10? – AuntMinnie

According to research published July 23 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, while the adoption of ICD-10 on October 1 will dramatically expand the number of billing codes frequently used in radiology claims, the new diagnosis coding system will affect some imaging subspecialties much more than others. A team led by Dr. Margaret Fleming from Emory University School of Medicine mapped the impact of converting diagnosis codes from ICD-9 to ICD-10 for nearly 600,000 radiology claims. Based on the results, the researchers projected a nearly sixfold increase in the number of billing codes that account for most claims.

2) Flood of Image Data Threatens to Swamp Radiologists – AuntMinnie

According to a study published online in Academic Radiology, today’s radiologist has to review 16 cross-sectional images per minute, which works out to an image every three to four seconds. That compares to just three images per minute for the average radiologist in 1999. A new study by researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, examined the effect of advances in cross-sectional imaging on the workload of radiologists and found that radiologists are being forced to interpret a dramatically rising number of images, even as overall imaging utilization remains stable.

3) Do Quality Metrics Hurt Patient Care? – Healthcare IT News

According to a new survey from The Commonwealth Fund and the Kaiser Family Foundation, half of primary care physicians across the country view the increasing use of quality-of-care metrics and penalties for unnecessary hospitalizations as potentially troubling for patient care. The same survey shows 50 percent of physicians responding see healthcare information technology as a boon for quality care.

4) Survey: Provider’s Web Efforts Lacking, Patients Say – Healthcare Informatics

According to this new survey of approximately 1,000 adult Internet users, nearly three quarters (72 percent) of respondents feel that websites currently offered by healthcare providers could be more helpful. The top criticisms: inability to contact healthcare professionals via the user’s preferred method of contact; difficulty finding the information they’re looking for; and the inability to chat with a healthcare representative via the website in real time.

5) ACR Supports Bill to Stall USPSTF Draft Recommendations – Radiology Business Journal

The American College of Radiology (ACR) strongly supports a bill that would put a two-year moratorium on recent draft breast cancer screening recommendations made by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). H.R. 3339, the Protecting Access to Lifesaving Screenings (PALS) Act, was  introduced last week and would give Congress more time to properly discuss concerns that have been raised about both the USPSTF and the impact its recommendations could have on women’s health in the U.S.

Guess the X-ray – August’s Image Challenge

It’s a new month so that means it is time for a new “Guess the X-ray” Image Challenge. July’s Image Challenge was particularly difficult, as nobody has identified it, so we will continue to keep that open if people want to try another. Let’s see if the same level of difficulty transfers to this month.

The August image is below, the challenge will run until the end of the month or until the first person guesses correctly.

To participate this month, leave your guess in the comments below or on our Facebook page. Good luck!

Sorry… Carestream employees and their agencies are prohibited from entering.

Carestream Image Challenge August 2015